Dear Patrons and Members,
It is with sincere regret that the Warehouse Theatre Company announces the indefinite postponement of our 2020 – 2021 season. This was a difficult decision to make, but we recognize that we have a responsibility to our community to ensure the safety of our patrons and participants.
The Safe Start Washington guidelines explain that until the county is in Phase 4, it is just not possible to bring large groups of people together. As Yakima County has been in modified Phase 1 for the past couple weeks, it is clearly going to take time to reach that final reopening phase. Rather than promote a season of shows, sell season coupons, and begin pre-production work with the very real likelihood of many delays and schedule changes, the WTC board has made the difficult decision to postpone the season.
Even though the theatre will be “dark,” you’ll be glad to know that the WTC remains active. Our mission to engage, enrich, and encourage our community is still vital. To that end, work is underway to produce and offer an expanded variety of digital content over the coming weeks and months. Look for updates and availability on our website.
In the meantime, we continue to “Mask Up to Act Up” and to monitor the latest news from the Yakima County Health District, Washington State Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control. Their guidance is shaping procedures and policies to ensure everyone’s safety when shows are safe to go live.
Also, you’re invited to take in our annual Winnie Awards on August 8 at 7:00 PM on our YouTube channel. Though last season was cut short, we look forward to celebrating the performances and productions from the 19-20 season with you!
Finally, the Warehouse Theatre Company just wants to say “thank you” for your ongoing generosity and support in these challenging times. Thanks to you, a future filled with moving and entertaining theatre will happen. You’ll be the first to know when that time comes!
Until then, stay safe and stay healthy!
For additional information:
Warehouse Theatre Pays Off Mortgage, Sees a Bright Future
Warehouse Theatre Company members received some welcome news during their virtual Winnie awards show on Saturday. Executive Director Vance Jennings interrupted the ceremony to announce that the mortgage on the theatre had been paid in full.
A June newsletter requesting support from patrons resulted in a major gift. An anonymous donor contacted Jennings to say, “You can retire that mortgage. Consider it paid in full.” With that, the final $20,000 left on WTC’s mortgage was paid off. In a time when playhouses across the country are closed, Yakima’s community theatre knows that their shows will go on.
“We are incredibly lucky to have the support of our donors and patrons,” said Jennings. “That’s always been true, but to have this level of support during the pandemic…it’s really overwhelming.”
The Warehouse Theatre Company, Yakima’s community theatre, purchased their current home on 24th Avenue in February, 2018 for $1.16 million. They had the keys but still owed $160,000. Prior to COVID, they were experiencing robust ticket sales and steady donor support. When the coronavirus hit, it became impossible to produce and perform, and all productions were cancelled.
Board President Stephen Clark says, “This donation means that we can continue to fulfill our mission for years to come. We will be ready for live audiences again as soon as it is safe. In the meantime, we’re putting out digital content to keep the mission alive.”
The Warehouse Theatre Company was founded in 1947. Then known as the “Yakima Little Theatre Group,” the founding members saw it as a way to keep using the theatrical skills they had learned in college. So, for the past 73 years, the WTC’s goal has been to offer quality theatre to engage audiences and to give community members a chance to create art through theatre. Open to everyone, WTC produces a season of five shows including musicals and plays of all genres.